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Chef Rick Moonen Celebrates Re-Opening of RM Upstairs and Top Chef Masters Redemption!

So my first Tasting Las Vegas gig was a blast. I am often included in Mike’s dining adventures as “The Wife” but during this particular event, I was left on my own to tweet, hobnob and taste deliciousness as “The Husband” headed to work (editor’s note: I gots to pay tha’ billz).  My job as TLV’s “The Wife” typically includes letting Mike take a picture of my food, letting him taste my food (I usually make the better choice) and providing delightful conversation (I’m a firm believer that you can never have too many “That’s what she said” jokes).

Chef Rick Moonen and TLV's The Wife

Chef Rick Moonen and TLV's The Wife

The event: Re-Opening of RM Upstairs / Top Chef Masters Debut Party.  Shortly after 6p.m. on Thursday, April 21st, the restaurant filled with guests ready to cheer on Chef Rick Moonen’s appearance on Top Chef Masters. While enjoying a nice glass of merlot and getting my “Super Green” Sustainable Oyster cherry popped (delicious, by the way), Mike and I awaited words from the man of the hour and enjoyed a tasting of the Pork Belly Sushi. I do believe Mike is now convinced that sushi can be a very good thing.

Chef Moonen Speaks to the Crowd

Chef Moonen Speaks to the Crowd

Chef Moonen’s vibrant, captivating personality shone as he spoke to the crowd. Clearly passionate (as his fans already know) about what he represents in the food world as a top advocate for sustainable seafood, he spoke of how as a culture we’ve lost touch of where our food comes from and how he wants people to have a greater appreciation of where food comes from. He also spoke many kind words of his friends who had gathered to celebrate this evening, alongside mentioning his “Crazy Eddie Prices” for a 5-course Tasting Menu at the beautiful RM Upstairs ($65) (editor’s note: THE BEST DEAL IN TOWN!!!).

As Seen on TV!!!

As Seen on TV!!!

Mike abandoned me at this point (poor baby insisted he had to warm-up – that’s what you get for picking a brass instrument) so I settled into a seat in front of the big screen as the show was about to begin. Cheers for Chef Moonen echoed throughout the restaurant all throughout the show.  A collective “aghhhhh” was sighed when they cut to commercial break right before announcing the winner of the quick fire challenge.

I tell you what… I’ll take a room full of food lovers cheering on a favorite chef or restaurant over a boring old football game any day.  The crowd laughed at every humorous comment from Chef Ludo and Rick. I got my biggest kicks from the tweets on Twitter between the two of them (Lefebvre is @ChefLudo and Moonen is @RMSeafood) after the show. All in good fun…. all in good fun.

Pork Belly Sushi with Avocado

Pork Belly Sushi with Avocado

Ok, so for lack of transition… Let’s talk about the FOOD of the party!  Delicious little bites. I can’t remember the details of what was in anything, but I sure do remember how delicious everything was. My favorite item was the salmon skewer.  So fresh and light, with just a small scattering of delicious crunchy bits of some kind on the outside. A fun little dessert was a mini cone of Red Bull and Jagermeister Dippin’ Dots. I find both Red Bull and Jagermeister to be repulsive, but somehow our Top Chef and the talented team in the kitchen figured out how to make it work.

Red Bull and Jagermeister Dippin' Dots

Red Bull and Jagermeister Dippin' Dots

I managed to get my hands on the signature drink of the evening, The Gardener Martini (I believe made with Hendricks Gin, Lime and Basil),  about halfway though the Top Chef Masters viewing.  So yummy! So fresh and appropriately named.

The Gardner Martini at RM Seafood

The Gardner Martini at RM Seafood

The downstairs restaurant was full of people after the show filing in to have a crack at Chef Moonen’s Fish n’ Chips.  “The Husband” has already professed the downstairs Fish n’ Chips to be the best he’s ever had, but apparently the version Chef Moonen made during the competition is even better!  Today on Facebook, Chef Moonen said he was going to upgrade them to the TCM Fish n’ Chips; White Sable Fish in a Buttermilk Marinade with a Lemon Confit Tartar Sauce.  I’ll take two!  (editor’s note: I hope he doesn’t screw too much with the Anchor Steam Beer Batter, it was Beer Batter Perfection!)

Redemption!

Redemption!

Getting to spend this special moment with such a special guy like Rick Moonen was a highlight for me.  You can’t help but love the guy with him always bubbling with energy, enthusiasm and passion.  Chef Moonen deserves every accolade he gets and fellow Las Vegans should be proud that we have a great guy amongst us doing some pretty great things.  Congratulations to Chef Rick Moonen and the amazing staff at both floors of RM Seafood! I think this is just the beginning of a whole bunch of celebrating to come!

Rick Moonen with #1 Fan, Julie.  Awww!!!

Rick Moonen with #1 Fan, Julie. Awww!!!

—–

Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood

Mandalay Place in the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
3930 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, NV 89119

(702) 632-9300

http://www.RMSeafood.com

Follow Chef Rick Moonen and RM Seafood on Twitter at @RMSeafood

—–

The Wife is a music teacher to munchkins and clay-throwing pottery nut who can quote every line from The Office and patiently waits for her lazy husband to someday clean the house.  The Wife has also been known to answer to the name, Kerry.

Follow The Wife on Twitter at @TLV_TheWife.

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